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A News Digest on EV business, Data centers, and Startups

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Google says it will invest $7B+ in offices and data centers across the US and create at least 10K new full-time Google jobs in the US this year
Foxconn has proposed acquiring VinFast’s EV production lines, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. But VinFast, a unit of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup JSC, prefers a partnership as it is keen to brand itself as an eco-friendly automaker and wants to retain its EV business, one of the sources said. The world’s largest contract manufacturer and Apple Inc supplier has outlined plans to become a major provider of parts and services in the global EV market and any agreement with VinFast would follow deals with Fiat Chrysler and EV startups. VinFast became Vietnam’s first fully-fledged domestic car manufacturer when its first gasoline-powered models built under its own badge hit the streets in 2019. The company sold about 30,000 vehicles last year and has forecast sales of more than 45,000 for 2021. It will begin delivery of EVs produced at its factory in the northern port city of Hai Phong to domestic customers by December. VinFast, which also produces electric motorbikes and buses, said this month it had set up an electric vehicle battery venture with Taiwan’s ProLogium. Seeking to provide components or services to 10% of the world’s electric vehicles as early as 2025, Foxconn has moved quickly to clinch a number of deals. One of its biggest is an agreement with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to provide contract manufacturing for other automakers. It has also said it will work with U.S. startup Fisker to produce more than 250,000 vehicles a year beginning in late 2023 and will start building SUVs for China’s Byton next year.]
Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta said on Friday it has received $500 million from SAIC Motor, Toyota Motor, and auto parts supplier Bosch, as the global auto industry pursues the autonomous future. Other investors in the funding round include Daimler AG, Temasek, Yunfeng Capital, and Tencent, Momenta said in a statement. It did not disclose the valuation. The four-year-old firm, led by Cao Xudong, a former Microsoft executive, is testing autonomous cars in Beijing and China’s eastern city of Suzhou, and has a research center in Germany’s Stuttgart. Momenta is working with automakers to develop mass-production vehicles with self-driving functions to gather real-time data for fully autonomous driving technologies for future products. Data is a key part of the self-driving industry which enables companies to improve their technologies in different environments.
The company this month tapped investors led by U.S. asset manager Blackrock for 200 million euros ($239 million) in the backing as it seeks certification for its battery-powered flying taxi. Florian Reuter, CEO, aims to bring the VoloCity air taxi into commercial service in the next two years, in a race with startups including U.S. rival Joby which plans to go public via a $6.6 billion SPAC deal. Joby, which has partnered with Toyota Motor Corp and Uber Technologies, has announced it will merge into Reinvent Technology Partners in a deal expected to close in the second quarter. Volocopter is pursuing a twin-track strategy with its drone-like aircraft, trialing a remote-controlled cargo lifter with logistics group DB Schenker, and developing a two-seater flying taxi of similar design for urban air transport. In Germany, it faces a challenge from Lilium, a Munich-based air taxi startup whose fixed-wing design is more suited to longer, inter-city hops. Lilium has been reported to be eyeing a deal to go public via a SPAC.
For the second quarter, the company reported a record $16 billion in total new bookings, up 13% from a year earlier. Accenture now expects full-year revenue to grow between 6.5% and 8.5% in a local currency, compared to its previous outlook of 4% to 6%. Analysts had expected full-year revenue of $47.83 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Revenue rose 8.5% to $12.09 billion in the quarter ended Feb. 28, compared with analysts’ estimates of $11.83 billion.
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